YouTube ditches Nicki Minaj video age restrictions after protest


YouTube has removed age restrictions placed on a new music video by Nicki Minaj, following a furious protest from the artist yesterday. The row concerns the video for her ‘Likkle Miss Remix’ collaboration with fellow artist Skeng, which was released yesterday.

Swiftly after that release, age restrictions were applied by YouTube to make it only viewable by people over 18 years old, leading Minaj to give the platform a piece of her mind in an Instagram post. “Imagine this. They restricted my fu**ing video but have things a million fu**ing times worse on their BOGUS FKING PLATFORM,” she wrote (our asterisks) before making allegations about YouTube’s relationship with “a certain record label and mngmnt company”. Oh, and signing off with “GO SUCK OUT YA MUDDA BIG PUM PUM. LYOR IT BETTER NOT BE YOU”.

Heaven knows what YouTube’s music boss Lyor Cohen made of that, but within hours the age restrictions were removed – the company told Gizmodo that it “removed the age-restriction after determining the video didn’t violate our Community Guidelines” – and Minaj’s Instagram posts were deleted.

All sorted then, but it does highlight the balancing act big social and video platforms are having to perform: respecting artists’ freedom of expression on one hand, while facing growing scrutiny from regulators if they have lots of under-18s using their service.

While the latter may be most interested in privacy issues – e.g. our TikTok story today – content may also be under the microscope. When music videos include alcohol and smoking (as ‘Likkle Miss Remix’ does) we should be prepared for more controversies of this kind.

Written by: Stuart Dredge